Interview: Miloš Liška and his 50th Age Group gold!
One ordinary Saturday at the end of July 2023. I am standing, like many others, in the square of the Hungarian town of Vác, where the Sprint has just finished and the ceremonial ceremony has ended.
Nothing special, the winners of individual categories were decorated, as it always is. But today is different. The male age category 50-54 was won in the morning by the Czech competitor Miloš Liška. The exclusivity of the moment lies in the fact that the fiftieth gold medal is already hanging around his neck. He enjoys the recognition and respect of the watching Spartans and willingly poses for photographers with fifty gold medals around his neck. I also take advantage of the moment and try to interview Miloš briefly. We have known each other for a long time, and we keep in touch.
Standing fifty times on the highest step of your age group is a respectable achievement. How much time passed between the first and the fiftieth golden cake?
Less than 4 years passed between the first and fiftieth golden plate.
You often win the start-finish and that in itself inspires respect. Did you do any other sports before Spartan came into your life?
My first "sport" in life was chess. I played them from about 5 to 18 years old. Before Spartan, I just ran. From urban Runtour races (5-10 km), through marathons, ultramarathons and 24-hour runs.
Which medals from your golden fifty do you value the most, and which one do you think you worked the hardest for?
I probably worked the hardest on the medal from the USA, where it was the World Championships in Ultra and it was run for 25 hours. There was an altitude of over 3,000 m, a time difference of about 9 hours, the temperature dropped to zero at night and a comfort zone in the meadow under the open sky! So really spartan conditions!
We meet often at races across Europe, but I know you ride further. Try to say where you liked the most so far, why there and how many times have you actually run across the Spartan finish line? How many countries was it in?
I have completed 69 Spartan Races so far and it was in 12 countries around the world. CR, SK, PL, HU, SWE, USA, ROM, GR, SLO, Andorra, DE, AT. It is quite difficult to say where I liked the most, because in each country the nature is different. But if I had to choose the best destination, it would probably be in the USA, where during a single training run near the town of Telluride I ran all the way to the top of Palmyra Peak (4,039 m. a.s.l.) and I experienced all the seasons there. Around 20°C below, autumn landscape at 3,000 m and snow flying at 4,000 m.
In conclusion, can you still try to advise all the Spartans, who are still looking in vain for the highest step, a recipe or a secret ingredient for training, so that they can also fulfill their dream one day?
Everyone can make their dream come true one day, it just depends on what goals they set!
I would summarize it in a few simple points:
1) hard work - don't believe in luck, believe in hard work
My advice: give each training session an honest workout, I alternate between running, cycling, fitness, and recovery.
2) patience - if you lose patience, you lose the "battle"
My advice: set gradual goals, eg top 10, top 5, podium.
3) sacrifice - if you don't sacrifice for what you want, you become a victim
My advice: determine your priorities and the goals you desire
4) Consistency - Consistency is what turns mediocrity into excellence
My advice: work on your dream every day, without consistency you will never achieve greater success.
5) discipline - discipline keeps you growing and motivation gets you moving
My advice: there are always days when you don't feel like it. Something hurts, the weather is not good, you have any problem, you have to push through these days regardless of how you feel. There is always an alternative!
6) self-confidence - believe in what you do, believe in your abilities
My advice: if you believe in what you're doing and set the biggest goals, that's the first step to success!
And as for the "secret ingredient" before or after training, it's Georen, which I used especially in the beginning, when my body was getting sore. Almost all my joints, muscles and tendons hurt, he helped me with all the pain. He even helped me get back to training faster after knee surgery last year.
That's a really great summary. Your example shows that it really works. I think I can wish you, on behalf of all the Spartans, many more years on the racing tracks of our sport, good health and may your gold collection grow by a large chunk.
Thanks for the interview, Miloš.